Continental-scale patterns of extracellular enzyme activity in the subsoil: an overlooked reservoir of microbial activity
AuthorDove, Nicholas C
Billings, Sharon A
Botthoff, Jon K
Carey, Chelsea J
DeForest, Jared L
Gallery, Rachel E
Kaye, Jason P
Lohse, Kathleen A
Maltz, Mia R
Yang, Wendy H
Hart, Stephen C
Aronson, Emma L
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Soil Water & Environm Sci
Univ Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
phospholipid fatty acids
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationDove, N. C., Arogyaswamy, K., Billings, S. A., Botthoff, J. K., Carey, C. J., Cisco, C., ... & Aronson, E. L. (2020). Continental-scale patterns of extracellular enzyme activity in the subsoil: an overlooked reservoir of microbial activity. Environmental Research Letters, 15(10), 1040a1.
JournalENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS
Rights© 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractChemical stabilization of microbial-derived products such as extracellular enzymes (EE) onto mineral surfaces has gained attention as a possibly important mechanism leading to the persistence of soil organic carbon (SOC). While the controls on EE activities and their stabilization in the surface soil are reasonably well-understood, how these activities change with soil depth and possibly diverge from those at the soil surface due to distinct physical, chemical, and biotic conditions remains unclear. We assessed EE activity to a depth of 1 m (10 cm increments) in 19 soil profiles across the Critical Zone Observatory Network, which represents a wide range of climates, soil orders, and vegetation types. For all EEs, activities per mass of soil correlated positively with microbial biomass (MB) and SOC, and all three of these variables decreased logarithmically with depth (p< 0.05). Across all sites, over half of the potential EE activities per mass soil consistently occurred below 20 cm for all measured EEs. Activities per unit MB or SOC were substantially higher at depth (soils below 20 cm accounted for 80% of whole-profile EE activity), suggesting an accumulation of stabilized (i.e. mineral sorbed) EEs in subsoil horizons. The pronounced enzyme stabilization in subsurface horizons was corroborated by mixed-effects models that showed a significant, positive relationship between clay concentration and MB-normalized EE activities in the subsoil. Furthermore, the negative relationships between soil C, N, and P and C-, N-, and P-acquiring EEs found in the surface soil decoupled below 20 cm, which could have also been caused by EE stabilization. This finding suggests that EEs may not reflect soil nutrient availabilities deeper in the soil profile. Taken together, our results suggest that deeper soil horizons hold a significant reservoir of EEs, and that the controls of subsoil EEs differ from their surface soil counterparts.
NoteOpen access article
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsU.S. Department of Energy
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.